Matthew Newton

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Matthew Newton
Matthew Joseph Newton

(1977-01-22) 22 January 1977 (age 42)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
ResidenceNew York City, New York, U.S.
OccupationActor, writer, director
Years active1987–present
Notable work
Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities
Parent(s)Bert Newton
Patti Newton

Matthew Joseph Newton (born 22 January 1977) is an Australian born actor, writer, and director and son of TV personality Bert Newton. His acting career was interrupted by treatment in a psychiatric unit for bipolar disorder after several serious incidents of domestic violence and assault which were widely reported in the Australian media. Newton has relocated to New York City where he is now based and has resumed his directing and acting career.

Early life[edit]

Newton was born in Melbourne in 1977, and is the son of television personalities Bert and Patti Newton, brother of Lauren Newton, and brother-in-law of gold-medal swimmer Matt Welsh. Newton was educated at Xavier College and the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), where he graduated with a degree in Acting in 1998.



Newton has performed in Australia and abroad on stage, television and movies. In 1988, he starred in Sugar and Spice, a children's television series. In 1992, he starred in Late For School, a drama series that aired briefly on Channel Ten. In 2000, he starred alongside Pia Miranda in the film adaptation of the teen novel Looking for Alibrandi. In 2001 he appeared in the Australian/American science fiction show Farscape as the character Jothee, and as the vampire Armand in Queen of the Damned (in 2002).


In 2002, Newton was nominated for a Logie Award for his role in the television series Changi.

In 2004, Newton directed, wrote and starred in his first feature film, Right Here Right Now. The film was produced with private funding. In 2005, Newton starred in The Surgeon, which aired on Channel Ten.

In 2006, he appeared in the first and second seasons of improvisation comedy show Thank God You're Here. Newton also starred in a TV series for TV1 called Stupid, Stupid Man set in the office of a fictional men's magazine called COQ where he plays Nick Driscoll, the features writer.

In 2008, he was reportedly close to being cast for a role as a gangland figure in the first season of Underbelly but did not get the role.[1] He went on to appear in Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities as protagonist Terry Clark, portraying the New Zealand crime syndicate boss.

Newton wrote, directed and starred in the feature Three Blind Mice, which made its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the Critics Prize at the 2008 London Film Festival.


In 2010, Newton was announced as the host of the Australian version of The X Factor on the Seven Network. However, in August 2010 following two domestic violence incidents involving girlfriend Rachael Taylor at a hotel in Rome, Newton had to quit The X Factor due to 'medical advice'.[2]


In 2011, Newton appeared in Face to Face, an independent Australian film directed by Michael Rymer. Newton also appeared in The Lie (directed by Joshua Leonard) in 2011.


In November 2013, Newton directed and starred in an off-Broadway production of Hamlet in New York City.[3]


Newton performed "The Christmas Song" at the Carols by Candlelight Christmas Eve family event at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl in 2009.[4]


On 15 January 2007, Newton was sacked from his new role at Nova. He had recently been signed to co-host The Matt and Boothy Show with comedian Akmal Saleh in the prime time drive shift on Fridays.[5] The Daily Telegraph confirmed that Newton announced the radio station had released him from his contract, reportedly worth up to $200,000 a year.[6]

The station suspended his involvement in the broadcasts, which were due to begin on 15 January, after allegations were made public that he had assaulted Brooke Satchwell. Television actress Kate Ritchie replaced him at Nova.[7]


2006 events[edit]

In 2006, Newton appeared on the New Year's Eve 2006 episode of The Big Night In with John Foreman on Network Ten in which he engaged in simulated sex acts and other suggestive activity as well as bad language. The Daily Telegraph reported his antics and the station received criticism from outraged viewers who complained the show was "sub-standard coverage" and "the worst ever".[8]

In 2006, Newton split with longtime girlfriend, actress Brooke Satchwell. Newton was arrested on 16 October and charged with intimidation and assault occasioning actual bodily harm over incidents alleged to have occurred on 13 September and 6 October. He denied the charges.[9][10][11]

Newton was originally charged with four offences, but on 21 May 2007 a court heard he would plead guilty to just one count of common assault – with police agreeing to drop counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and stalking and intimidating Satchwell, intending to cause her to fear physical or mental harm.[12][13] On 12 June, Newton appeared in court and pleaded guilty to the one count of common assault and was put on a 12-month good behaviour bond.[14] Magistrate Paul Cloran, who recorded the conviction against Newton, acknowledged that although the actor received some character references from friends and family he felt compelled to record a conviction.[15]

In July 2007, Newton had his conviction overturned based on medical grounds. Solicitor Chris Murphy tendered a letter from Dr Robert Hampshire, Newton's psychiatrist, which outlined his depressive illness and stated he was unlikely to reoffend. Judge Joseph Moore said, "It does not in any way lead the court to give special consideration to his case because he is a person of high profile", referring to Newton's celebrity status; and, "The way in which he has been given particular media attention has acted as a considerable measure of punishment."[16]

2009 events[edit]

In November 2009, Newton's hotel room in Kings Cross, Sydney, was trashed after the GQ Men's Award Night. According to media reports, the damage to the room was over $9,000. The room was booked in the name of his then girlfriend Rachael Taylor and he departed the next day without checking out. New South Wales Police investigated the matter but no charges were laid.[17]

2010 events[edit]

In August 2010 following two domestic violence incidents involving girlfriend Rachael Taylor at a hotel in Rome, where Newton allegedly "punched Taylor in the face before being sedated by ambulance officers." It was reported that Taylor suffered concussion after she hit her head on the hotel's marble floor, and a sprained jaw after the alleged attack. Taylor took out an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) against Newton.[2] The media also reported his heavy use of alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine at this time.[18]

2011 events[edit]

In February 2011, Newton was charged with breaching the terms of his AVO.[2] He was released on bail and ordered to appear in Court in March 2011.[19]

It is alleged that Newton assaulted a 66 year old taxi driver twice in the Sydney suburb of Crows Nest on 4 December 2011. He has been charged with common assault and appeared in court in January 2012.[20] The matter was originally stood over to April 2012.[21] The matter was then stood over for a further three months as Newton was facing separate charges in the United States (see below).[22]

2012 events[edit]

In April 2012, Newton was arrested twice in Miami, Florida. In the first incident, on 7 April, he was charged with trespassing and resisting officers.[23] In a second incident on 17 April, Newton was charged with battery and resisting arrest after he attacked a hotel receptionist. His lawyer called for patience and support for bipolar sufferers and said that Newton is continuing treatment.[24]

On 14 November 2012 both matters were dismissed, conditional upon Newton completing 50 hours of community service, writing a letter of apology to the hotel clerk, Ariel Bory Vargas, paying $US11,500 restitution to Mr. Vargas and staying away from both him and Mr. Moe's, the bar where he was accused of trespass.[25]

2018 concerns and criticism[edit]

In August 2018, Jessica Chastain was criticised for choosing to work with Newton on the film, Eve. Chastain is a co-producer and Newton was selected as writer and director. Critics noted that appointing Newton for the role contrasted with Chastain's participation in the Time's Up campaign.[26] Newton later stepped down from the project.[27]



Year Title Role Notes
2017 Who We Are Now Director, writer
2016 Wasn't Afraid to Die Russian arms dealer
From Nowhere Director, Producer and Writer
2014 The Sideways Light Aidan
2011 Face to Face Jack Manning
The Lie Steve
2008 Three Blind Mice Harry McCabe Director and Writer
Bitter & Twisted Matt Salt
Ascension Luke Short film
2007 La même nuit Louie Short film; Producer
2006 The Bet Will
2005 The Great Raid 2nd American POW
2004 Right Here Right Now Jefferson Director and Writer
2002 Blurred Mason the Chauffeur
Queen of the Damned Armand
2000 My Mother Frank David Kennedy
Looking for Alibrandi John Barton
1993 Body Melt Bronto


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities Terry 'Mr Asia' Clark 13 episodes
2008 The Strip Gregor Foxx Season 1, Episode 10
2006-2008 Stupid Stupid Man Nick Driscoll 16 episodes
2005-2008 All Saints Isaac Talbot / Derek Cook 2 episodes
2005 The Surgeon Dr. Nick Steele 8 episodes
2001 Changi David Collins 6 episodes
Farscape Ka Jothee 6 episodes
2000 Grass Roots Derek Garner 8 episodes
Water Rats Josh Rogers Season 5, Episode 2
The Lost World Gawain Season 1, Episode 14
1999 Chuck Finn Dr. Finlay / Steven Stevens Season 1, Episode 24
1998 Good Guys, Bad Guys Casper Moody Season 2, Episode 7
1995 Snowy River: The McGregor Saga Private Horsefall Season 3, Episode 13
1992 Late for School Dennis Price 13 episodes
1989 Sugar and Spice Freddo 2 episodes
1987-1991 The Flying Doctors Wombat / Simon Maguire 2 episodes


  1. ^ "Matt Newton to play Terry Clark in Underbelly prequel". 13 October 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Byrnes, Holly (23 August 2010). "Matthew Newton, Rachael Taylor in hotel lobby fight, withdraws Channel Seven show X Factor". The Daily Telegraph.
  3. ^ "VIDEO: Matthew Newton Stars in Hamlet Broadway Show". Yahoo!. 8 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Newton to spread some cheer". The Advertiser (Adelaide). 8 December 2009.
  5. ^ "DMG Radio – Newton and Nova Part Company". Retrieved 3 May 2010.[dead link]
  6. ^ Jones, Gemma (16 January 2007). "Bert Newton backs son Matt| Entertainment". Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  7. ^ tv-fan's blog. "Kate Ritchie, not Matthew Newton, to work with Nova 100 | General | News". Throng. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  8. ^ Gosnell, Peter (2 January 2007). "Ten's smutty party an insult". Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  9. ^ Owens, Warren (14 January 2007). "Newton charged with Satchwell assault". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 14 January 2007.
  10. ^ Browne, Rachel; Hall, Louise (14 January 2007). "Bert's boy charged with bashing actress". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 January 2007.
  11. ^ Jacobsen, Geesche (17 January 2007). "Newton case 'minor' compared with Iraq". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 January 2007.
  12. ^ "Newton girl-bash charges cut". The Sunday Telegraph. 21 May 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2007.
  13. ^ "3 Matthew Newton charges dropped, lawyers say". ABC News Online. 21 May 2007.
  14. ^ Taylor, Zoe (12 June 2007). "Newton pleads guilty to assault". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
  15. ^ Taylor, Zoe (12 June 2007). "Newton to appeal good-behaviour bond". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
  16. ^ "Outrage at court's star treatment". NewsComAu. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  17. ^ Barnett, Ruth (26 November 2009). "Matthew Newton AWOL at the airport". Herald Sun. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  18. ^ "'Schizophrenia' fears for Matthew Newton".
  19. ^ "Matthew Newton charged with breaching AVO". Fairfax Media. 9 February 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  20. ^ "Matthew Newton charged for allegedly assaulting a Sydney taxi driver". Herald Sun. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  21. ^ "Matt Newton ordered to face court over taxi assault charge". 28 March 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  22. ^ "Matthew Newton 'hunted like a wounded animal'". 10 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  23. ^ Kwek, Glenda (8 April 2012). "Matthew Newton arrested in Miami for trespassing and resisting officers: US police". Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  24. ^ Gardiner, Stephanie (24 April 2012). "Matthew Newton charged with battery after alleged US assault". Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  25. ^ Toohey, Paul (15 November 2012). "Matthew Newton escapes conviction". Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  26. ^ Harmon, Steph (7 August 2018). "Jessica Chastain accused of hypocrisy for working with Matthew Newton". the Guardian. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  27. ^ Hipes, Patrick (10 August 2018). "Matthew Newton Exits As Director Of Jessica Chastain's 'Eve' Amid Backlash". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 10 August 2018.

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